Curry Chicken Salad
As I stood over my cast iron pan yesterday, I got to thinking–What is the deal with onions? They are decidedly savory beings, no one can deny that. Raw, they are pungent and full of vibrato (what would a taco do without them?). Sauteed in olive oil, they are subtle and roundly flavored. But you throw them in a pan with butter, let them sweat it out on low heat for 15 minutes, and they become another thing altogether–voluptuous, sweet, willing. They lose all of their rebellious attitude and become pussycats. And the smell they emit as they caramelize has to be one of my favorites ever.
They were an afterthought in this dish, but a mighty good one. Curry chicken salad is, in itself, no revelation. This version, however, sort of is–like a ray of sunshine. The Greek yogurt and lemon make it tangy, and I think the garam masala adds a depth of flavor beyond your standard curry powder. One chicken breast and one container of yogurt made enough to stretch for probably three lunches. So it’s delicious and thrifty, my favorite combination. It also takes about 20 minutes to make, which isn’t too shabby for a weeknight.
Curry Chicken Salad
1/2 yellow or white onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. butter
1 chicken breast
1 8 0z. plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp. curry powder
1 tbsp. garam masala
1 green apple, chopped
the juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/2 c. shredded coconut (I used the sweetened kind)
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/4 c. almonds, chopped
cilantro for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Warm butter over low heat and add onions. Cook slowly until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
In the meantime, rub olive oil, salt, and pepper on both sides of the chicken breast. Bake for about 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the breast. Set aside and let cool, then dice into cubes about the same size as your apple cubes.
In a medium-sized bowl, add yogurt, lemon juice, and lemon zest, salt, pepper, curry powder and garam masala, and combine. Then add the rest of your ingredients: diced apple, coconut, cranberries, and almonds. When the chicken and onions are room temperature, add to the mix and combine everything. Garnish with cilantro and adjust seasoning to taste.
I served mine on an olive sourdough bread.